Tag Archives: Santex Culture

Under The Sea

Our team member, Gabriela Chaves, tells us about her experience with scuba diving. She told us how it feels to be underwater and immersed in a dive with other species.

How did you become a scuba diver and how did this passion evolve for you?

I’ve loved water since my earliest memories, so the first time I traveled to the Caribbean, I had to try scuba diving which was “love at first dive”. In that same moment, I decided I was going to continue doing it and become certified in order to be able to expand the range of my experiences underwater.

What does scuba diving mean to you?

It’s the closest thing to discovering another world. It is as amazing as it is challenging. It’s a moment to be profoundly connected with myself and be fully aware of the moment. Being in a harsh environment makes it more exciting since I have to be able to overcome the difficulties that it implies.

What has been your most beautiful experience underwater?

One of my dearest experiences was diving at night in Puerto Vallarta. When one is diving in the dark you can only see what your flashlight is illuminating. It means that every time you sweep the area with your light, there can be a surprise. I found a sea turtle diving right next to me. They are so peaceful and watching them dive seems almost as if they are flying. It was an amazing experience to share that moment with the turtle.

With what marine species have you shared your diving experiences and which one has impacted you the most?

I have swam with a large variety of fish…octopuses, squids, sharks, sea lions, but the most impactful creatures so far have been the hammerhead sharks and especially manta rays. Such an odd twist of nature in their design!

Have you had any reckless experience or what risks have you encountered underwater?

Proper training is key in this activity to minimize the risks. I’ve had good training, excellent dive masters, and thankfully I’ve never had a bad situation. For example, while one is around sharks, you need to lay low, sit still, and wait for them to come to you.  Sharks are curious creatures and learning to read their behavior is really important to avoid any dangerous situation.

In your opinion, what would you consider to be the best destination for diving?

It depends on the type of experience you want to have. For example, the Caribbean and Galapagos are amazing places. I love “wreck diving” too, so any place with a sunken ship, plane or building will do as well.

What do you consider to be the benefits that one acquires when diving that could encourage other people to take an interest in this activity?

I’ve experienced two sides of it. On the one hand, it is almost a meditative moment. Being silent and fully connected to the present brings me much peace. On the other hand, I learned to push my limits, to conquer my fears. But of course, the main benefit is to dive in amazing places, meet all types of fantastic creatures you wouldn’t otherwise encounter and to experience nature in its wild state.

Cooking for fun

Our Santex Team Member, Juan Giacosa, tells us about his passion for cooking and preparing meals for his family and friends.

How old were you when you started cooking?

I don’t remember exactly. I know that I started to become more interested in cooking when  I was 17 and had to move to Cordoba.  At my family’s house, my mom was the cook, so I would only prepare food  if she was not around.

What motivated you to start cooking?

The need to feed myself haha. As I said, I was all by myself in Cordoba and  had to take on new responsibilities. As I enjoy eating a good meal, I decided to start doing some research about food preparation and recipes and gave it a try. That Was When I found out that It was not that complicated and decided to start cooking recipes that involved better and more complex techniques.

Have you studied or taken cooking courses?

No, I’ve never studied anything related to cooking in a “professional” way. Everything I know  Is due to practice and reading on web pages and cookbooks.

Do you have a dish that you like to prepare?

More than a dish, I really like to prepare and bake doughs…namely bread, pizza, pasta, croissants, etc. I also love roasting and grilling meat, and recently I’ve grown interest in using vegetables on my dishes.

What do you like most about cooking?

What I enjoy most about cooking is that it allows me to prepare delicious food for the people I love and see them enjoy it. There’s no greater satisfaction for me than knowing they like what I’ve prepared. For me, food is a way of showing appreciation and gratitude. It’s a way of saying “thank you” or “I love you”.

Do you cook only as a hobby or do you plan to carry out a project around the cuisine?

For the time being I only cook for friends, family or acquaintances.I plan on taking my chances in the field at some point in life. It could be managing a food store or opening my house to host culinary events for locals, strangers, friends and whoever finds out about it haha.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BICYCLE DIARIES

We were talking to Leonel Romero about his magnificent experiences traveling by bicycle. He told us how his desire to cycle began and the places he has visited.

 

  • How did your interest in traveling begin?

I think I always had it. To visit new and unexplored places and meet new people have always been my favorite things.

Over time (and traveling), I began to understand that traveling is not just about getting away from your routine for a vacation. I know that vacations are the most common trip because most people do not have time or money, or don’t feel comfortable due to safety. Traveling is more a learning experience and an exchange of cultures,  that generates a deeper knowledge of oneself.

  • At what age did you start traveling and what inspired or pushed you to do it?

My first trips were on family vacations, always in Cordoba and sometimes to the Argentine coast or Mendoza to visit family.

As a cyclist or bicycle traveler, I started in 2015. I was 25 years old when I was in Europe for a trip organized by AVEIT, a student organization of the UTN of Córdoba that aims to do a study/tourism trip at the end of the engineering degree. I went to Croatia with a friend and went into a very large sports equipment shop and we bought everything necessary to start what would be my first “adventure”. That time we went from Croatia to Turkey by bike, passing through Montenegro, Bosnia, Albania, Greece, and Bulgaria.

  • Have you ever been in a dangerous situation during a trip?

In regards to security, I think the perception of danger depends on the person. You could be robbed in Cordoba or you could be in a “dangerous” place and nothing happens.

I was robbed twice in Colombia. The first time was an assault on the street in a very touristy place because of being careless. The second time a truck gave us a lift because we were in a very hot region and we did not want to keep going.  We put our bikes on top of the truck. After a while I saw a trainer up there: a guy of about 20 had climbed on top and was sitting there quietly. We continued traveling but were aware of our the unknown travel companion. After 5 minutes I saw him opening a bag so I told the driver and we stopped. The driver got out with a baseball bat and started screaming at the boy. The boy had nothing with him, not even a backpack, or our belongings, so we thought he hadn’t stolen anything and we let him go. He crossed the road in the middle of the field and a motorbike appeared that picked him up and they left.

The we realized, that he had thrown things onto the road and then collected them after. Luckily, we didn’t lose anything important.

  • Which places have you visited and which one did you like most

By bike, I have visited Croatia, Montenegro, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Turkey, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia.

I can’t decide which one I like the most, everywhere has it’s benefits.

  • What advice would you give to someone who want to start traveling by bike?

Don’t be afraid or listen to what they say on TV. Just go out to fulfill your dreams. No matter how cliché it seems, people have to stop saying that they want to do something and just do it!

Becoming a Self-Taught Mechanic

Our team member Kenjy, enjoys working on cars. Here he tells us some things about his hobby.

How was the taste for automotive mechanics born?

I’ve always liked to see how things work out, it seems something mesmerizing to know how things work. Since I was a child, I loved to disassemble things to see what they had inside. I could not always reassemble them and when I did it, I did not always use all the pieces. When I finally had a car, It was the “maximum toy” because is very interesting to know how it works and how all the pieces harmonize with each other to be able to work, and also because I was always passionate about cars.

What do you usually do in cars?

I love that everything works properly and try new things, in a certain way to experiment. I have done several things in the limited of my experience and knowledge of mechanics that has been based on the same maintenance of the car, oil change, repair of air conditioning, electrical wiring, change of seats, modification of the interior panel, modification of the interior, brake maintenance, change of the cooling system, tuning, maintenance of the acceleration body, change of the lighting system; among other things. I know, it may sound boring and for many people, it is more a “job” or it is something that would leave someone else to do it or is what they usually do in any workshop, but for me, it is a hobby that relaxes me. I don’t know how to describe it, it just changes my mood 🙂 As much as cooking or building things.

What brand and model of car did it cost you the most to build?

It is a very ambitious question. Not everyone let me play and experiment with their cars, much less I have the ability to assemble a whole car but let’s say I played with a Ford Escort Mk1, Toyota Corolla Diesel 2000 and Toyota Corolla 97 5ag. However, the car of my dreams is a Ford Mustang Boss 302 from 1979.

How much time do you dedicate to this hobby?

The time is dynamic, when it is necessary to do something or when it is just to relax. I would say that about 20 hours a month. Nowadays, responsibilities have increased and well, there is no longer as much time available as before.

What do you like the most when you built up a car?

The process, It passionate me the most. It’s like as a child you play with “cars”, and now, many years later, I’m still playing with them. It’s the feeling of pretending to play a mechanic that I love, building things. There is no target perse, there is no goal, it is only the time one uses; I enjoy it very much. It’s like when you love music and listen to many genres and many musical pieces, you do not have a target or a goal, you just enjoy the moment while doing it, it’s something like that.

Coder + Gamer

Mario Luna tells Santex how creating video games is the perfect combination of all of the things that he loves.

Tell us how you first got interested in developing video games?

Video games have almost alway been part of my life. When I was 9 years, the idea of creating a video game came to me. I was looking for some programs that could help me create a game, and I found some good tools, but didn’t know how to use them.

Later, when I was 14, I started to learn video and image editing. Then, I studied 3D editing and music composition. At the age of 17, I knew that I wanted to dedicate my life to some of these skills, but I couldn’t decide between them. The only place where all of those aspects converge is in video games. I went back to the beginning, but this time with more knowledge than before. I learned to program on my own and noticed that I liked it above all the other skills I’d learned. Since then, I have been slowly investigating the process of developing video games.

Today, at the age of 20, I am in the last year of my degree as a computer analyst with the intention of dedicating myself fully to video game development once I graduate.

What were your favorite games in the past? Was there one in particular that will call your attention the most and inspired you to start developing video games?

It’s impossible to choose only one, or even a few video games! I loved so many, but my favorite genre is FPS (First Person Shooter). Ones that I can mention are Call of Duty 4, Half-Life, Serious Sam 2, Counter-Strike, Left 4 Dead, among others. I also liked strategy games a lot, like Commandos, Age of Empires and Age of Mythology. Many of them I played in multiplayer with friends when I was younger.

A game that drew my attention was Bionic Commando when I was 9 years old. It’s an FPS with a mechanic that allows you to fly through the cities (or rather swing). When I played it, I wanted to be able to create a game with esthetic and/or similar mechanics and it led me to research how to do it. I think that thanks to that game, I love post-apocalyptic esthetics in video games or movies.

What do you like most as a player? As a developer?

As a player, I love a good story as well as a great narrative. I think that although it isn’t everything, a big part of the experience when playing is being able to tell a story that can distract you from the real world and immerse yourself in the game, creating the abstract of a great adventure.

Another thing that I like is the atmosphere of a game. It is not the same to make a horror game with strong light and shades of pink everywhere as it is a dark setting in an abandoned place where the player does not know where the danger might come from.

As a developer, I like the fact that I can tell a story by letting the player experience it as something that he, by himself, performs, and not as something told or seen, such as in a book or a movie.

Are you working on any gaming projects currently? If so, what?

I am currently doing the sketches and beginnings of a clone of the old Arkanoid. Long ago, I liked the series of mobile games called Block Breaker. I was a little disappointed when I found out that there are no titles for the most current platforms. That’s why I want to develop my own version of the game as a tribute. It’s a small project, but it’s pretty good to start with. This would be the first game I develop by myself, which I hope to see finished completely.

It is something new in a certain sense because so far, my experience has not gone much further than simple prototypes, so I am excited about being able to call this a game made on my own.

How long do you take to develop a video game? Is one person required?

A video game is composed of: programming, 2D digital art, sound effects, music, 3D, animations, script, lighting, conceptual art, level design, post-processing effects, platform and OS configuration, optimization, marketing, licenses, patents, publications, etc.

A person can do all this on their own, but it depends on several factors, such as the person’s ability, the size of the project, the budget among others. Some projects can take years and others only months, but as a rule, one person cannot or should not take charge of a project alone, because the benefits of being surrounded by a team are many.

To conclude, what do you think would be the biggest challenge when developing video games?

Almost since its inception, the video game industry has never stopped growing. Today there are hundreds of free tools available to developers, which has led in recent years to the creation of thousands of “indie” video game companies. These video games don’t depend on a big distributor like EA Games to position themselves, because with some marketing strategies and distributors like Google play or Steam, they can be published at a very low cost.

The massification of video games is good because it provides a greater amount of games on the market, but on the other hand, it prevents games that deserve greater recognition from being seen and judged as they should.

The biggest challenge for any new software developer is to ensure that their video game is seen and played by a large number of people, including competitors. The success that it has depends largely on this, because a game that does not become known, even if it’s a great title, is considered a failure. There are ways to counteract this, such as showing the video game to the community during its development phases, to determine how much expectation or “hype” the game has, as well as feedback on what features people would like to see in the game.

Marketing strategies are usually forgotten by independent developers, but they are very important for the positioning of a title in the industry.

 

Internship Abroad

Our German intern, Paulina, tells us more about what brings her to Argentina and what her plans are for the future.

  • Why did you decide to come to Argentina for your internship?

For school, I have to do an internship abroad. To improve my Spanish skills and also get to know a completely different culture, I decided to travel to a Latin American country. A few of my friends had already been to Argentina and all of them were very fascinated by the country and its people. After collecting some information about the country, I decided to spend my semester abroad in Argentina.

  • What would you say is the biggest cultural difference between Germany and Argentina?

There are many differences, but one of the main obstacles was getting used to the Argentinian eating habits! In Germany, we usually eat dinner around 6 or 7 pm, in contrast to Argentina where they eat much later. The same applies to the nightlife.

Furthermore, the people are very different. The Argentinians are way more welcoming, open and sincere. We Germans are much more reserved and don’t open up to people immediately.

  • What do you think about the work culture at Santex?

Since my first day, everybody was very kind and welcoming. Whenever I am having a problem or need support with anything, someone always takes the time to help me. At Santex there is a very relaxed working atmosphere. People are always in a good mood and it is fun to work there.

  • Which parts of Argentina have you been to? Which ones would you like to visit?

So far, I haven’t seen that much of Argentina since I’ve spent a lot of time in Cordoba. I have already been to the Sierras and to Mendoza, both of which I liked very much.

I definitely want to go to Buenos Aires and of course to the waterfalls in Iguazu.

  • What are your plans for after you finish your internship here?

After my internship I am travelling back to Germany in order to take some exams at my home university. Afterwards, I am starting my next semester abroad in Finland.

A journey to fitness and health

By Sebastian Gonzalez – Drupal Developer at Santex

My journey begins in early 2014, at the time I went to see a dermatologist for a few spots that I found on my legs. The dermatologist told me that it was acanthosis pigmentaria, and that they were due to my being overweight. At that time, my weight was about 110 kilos (242 lbs.) or a little more, had a very poor diet – lots of take out, lots of soda, many processed meals (bread, pastries), only a few vegetables and no fruit.

Sebastian GonzalezparablogchicaI signed up for a gym without a clear idea of what to do: that I should lose weight. At first, they recommended that I start on the stationary bike in addition to an exercise routine that was, at the very least, boring. Those were the first few weeks, and then little by little I began to like the routines that the coach was giving me and I started to enjoy training at the gym. In the meantime, the coach started demanding more and more of me.

When it came to my diet, I knew that it was the key to losing weight. Little by little I started changing certain eating habits. I started to plan my meals and set a day when I could eat more fattening foods (I still eat sandwiches and pizzas on my “cheat” days). I had to change my breakfast habits too – I used to not eat breakfast at all or just grab something quick on the way to work. I stopped drinking soda and eating certain foods at night.

Within the first 14 months, I lost almost 30 kilos (66 lbs). At a first glance, this seems like a large number, but I did some calculations and it evens out to about 500 grams (about 1 lb) per week. The truth is that weight loss is not a consistent progression. Sometimes I lost 500g per week, and afterwards weeks would go by where I would plateau and not lose even 1 gram. It’s times like that when you need to learn to be persistent and not give up, and just continue trying day after day. It’s not an easy journey that one sets out on to try to change or improve one’s life, but the people by my side supported me and encouraged along the way, and they didn’t let me fall. It’s also nice to hear when friends or coworkers comment on the weight you’ve lost and how they notice your body changing. That’s encouraging.

Today, my food plan is quite varied. My breakfasts usually include yogurt, fruit, granola, and peanut butter. My lunches focus on protein like beef, chicken, pork, and eggs, in addition to a healthy source of carbohydrates like broccoli, spinach, sweet potatoes, and brown rice. Dinners also revolve around a protein and lots of veggies like lettuce, tomato, carrots, arugula, cabbage, etc.

When people ask me how I lost so much weight and totally changed my body, the first thing I say is that you have to have persistence and the drive to keep going. There are going to be difficult moments in which you feel anxious and want to buy everything at the grocery store! But you’ll see how your body changes bit by bit and you’ll feel stronger and have more energy. You won’t get as tired at work – you’ll sleep better at night and feel more awake during the day. You can’t put a price on those feelings. I always recommend doing a physical activity, whatever it may be. If you like soccer, play it. If you like to run, go do it. If you’re a gym person like myself, be methodical with your training plan. Whatever the activity you prefer, the important thing is to stick to it.

My journey continues, and each day I strive to improve my diet and improve my training. I try to communicate my life experiences with others so that they feel motivated to become more physically active. With a little bit of perseverance you can achieve big things.